Hunter Renfroe (MIL): 1-4, HR, R, 3 RBI, BB.
Just before the lockout went into place back in December of 2021, Milwaukee made a splash. They traded a few players including Jackie Bradley Jr. for slugger Hunter Renfroe. They added some much-needed pop in their lineup as Renfroe had hit over 30 home runs in his last two full seasons. 2021 with Boston was his best season with 31 homers, 96 RBI and a 114 wRC+. That wRC+ is brought down significantly due to his poor OBP (career under .300). He cut his K rate the last few seasons but a seven percent walk rate with a .250-.260 average is lacking.
Not much has changed in that department for Renfroe but that pop has been no joke. He has kept his hard hit rate in the low- to mid-40s with a nearly 14% barrel rate. His HR/FB has remained around 20% with a fly ball rate above 45%. That all equals dingers. And it has shown. Through 261 plate appearances he has 17 home runs, which is a better pace than last year. However, he has missed some time with a calf injury and a hamstring injury earlier this year. He was sidelined back at the end of May and again at the end of June, missing a decent amount of time.
He came back for a week prior to the All-Star break and then had the extra time off last week for additional rest. All of that time off has been worth it. Since his IL return he is slashing .275/.341/.650 in 44 plate appearances, including last night’s 1-4 with a HR, three RBI, and a walk. All of his home runs since his return have been hit post-All-Star break as well. He has four in his last five games with 12 RBI in his last six. And they have been blasts; 447, 424, 418, and last night’s 386.
He looks locked in back from a couple of frustrating leg injuries. He should be grabbed if still available in your league.
Let’s see how the other hitters did Tuesday:
Seiya Suzuki (CHC): 2-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, RBI.
Suzuki had four home runs within his first nine games in the big leagues. From then on he would not hit a home run again until he returned from his IL stint in July. During that rough stretch, he had a wRC+ of only 71. At the end of May, he sprained his finger and was sidelined for over a month. But it has been a fantastic return. Yesterday he hit his fourth homer since coming back (eighth for the year) and he’s slashing .328/.366/.537 with only a 16.9% K rate (26.1% for the season).
Starling Marte (NYM): 2-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, RBI.
For the past month, Marte has been scorching hot. I’m talking about his performance on the field if anyone may be confused about his appearance on the red carpet at the All-Star game. From June 25th on, Marte has 11 multi-hit games out of 20 (one he didn’t start), good for a .380/.430/.570 slash and a 188 wRC+. He’s firmly in the two spot in the lineup hitting ahead of Lindor and Alonso yet he only has scored 10 runs despite reaching base over 30 times in that span.
George Springer (TOR): 3-5, HR, 2 R, 4 RBI.
Springer added a few more hits and launched a 413-foot grand slam (108 MPH) yesterday to continue his solid season. The other two hits were singles over 104 MPH. 2022 has been a solid but interesting year for him. His power has dipped a bit but he has already stolen 10 bases which is the second highest season total of his career. He stole 16 back in 2015 when he was just 25. But the power dip is something to note. He only has 14 doubles and 18 homers through 368 plate appearances for a .481 slugging. He’s only had a sub-.500 slugging once since 2017. He’s hitting far fewer fly balls than the previous two seasons (mid-40s to 38.4%) and his HR/FB is down under 20% (first season since 2017). His hard hit rate is still 41% but due to the lack of fly balls, his barrel rate is below 10%.
Luis García (WSH): 3-5, 3B, HR, R, 2 RBI.
Despite being 22 years old, this is García’s third stint in the majors. He’s been at shortstop for the Nationals since the start of June and he hasn’t done much at the plate. However, he crushed the ball last night with four hard hits including a triple and a 397-foot home run. He’s slashing .287/.295/.421 this year and as you can tell is a pure swing-away contact guy. He has two walks all year. The promising thing is his max exit velocity which he reached 113 MPH this season. Again he’s still very young and was exposed to the bigs early but I don’t see much value for the rest of 2022.
Cal Raleigh (SEA): 2-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.
Raliegh smacked a couple of extra-base hits yesterday—both over 100 MPH and one going over the fence 400 feet away. He’s been consistent all year with his home run pace but his totals have picked up more since he started getting plenty of playing time in June. He has established himself as the primary catcher for the M’s and since he took on that role back in May he’s been solid. Since May 15th, he has been slashing .236/.302/.528 with 13 home runs, good for a 134 wRC+. That is the most home runs of any catcher over that span and he also has the most RBI in that span. He’s good and he’s playing. A great combo to have at catcher.
Shohei Ohtani (LAA): 1-3, HR, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB, SB.
It’s the guy that can do both! Steal and hit home runs! Ohtani had a 46/26 season last year which is just unreal for fantasy but his pace has slowed a bit this season in both categories. He hit his 21st and stole his 11th of the season yesterday so he definitely still has a shot at at least 30/20. He only swiped one bag in June (at the end of the month) so he has picked the pace back up.
Cedric Mullins (BAL): 1-3, HR, R, RBI, BB, SB.
Speaking of another incredible combo threat, Mullins hit a dinger and stole a base yesterday as well. Last year he reached 30/30 status but that is tough to follow up. He has stolen 21 bases so far but his power is sorely lacking. His slugging is under .400 while he only has eight home runs. He never hit the ball that hard last year (39%) and this year is slightly lower (36%) but his barrel rate is under five percent and his HR/FB has gone from 15.5% to 5.9%. Could more dingers be in the cards? Sure. But I wouldn’t expect it. He may finish 15/30 and I’d be fine with that.
Magneuris Sierra (LAA): 2-4, R, 2 SB.
Sierra had his first start of the season yesterday after being called up to replace Jonathan Villar. He’s had a great season in Triple-A, stealing 22 bases and nearly hitting .300. Sierra is known for his speed and not much else, but if you desperately are in the need for some wheels, Sierra looks to be the guy. He should be available in nearly every league.
Victor Robles (WSH): 3-5, 2 R, SB.
Robles was recently front and center for angering none other than Madison Bumgarner, and he’s kept hitting since. He added three hits in yesterday’s game including another stolen base. He now has 12 on the year. His speed is really his only value right now and he’s not stealing as much as some may like. He also hits at the back of the order so opportunities are few and far between, not even counting his .305 OBP.
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)